This week, NBC Nightly News carried the story of Kathleen Magowan, who quietly left hundreds of thousands to Simsbury Public Schools, St. Mary's, the University of St. Joseph and more.
A few years before she died in 2011, Magowan discovered her estate was worth $6 million. She had war bonds and many other items stashed away, not realizing their full worth.
During the last years of her life the former Simsbury school teacher lived with her brother Robert in their parents home on Route 10.
Many have been shocked to find out about the wealth this quiet woman had amassed.
"She was a woman of quiet dignity," said Mary C. Fletcher, a Collinsville resident who lived down the street from Magowan for many years. "She was intelligent, gentle and compassionate."
The donations from Fletcher's estate have surprised the benefitting organizations.
Approximately $480,000 was gifted to Simsbury schools.
"When we got wind of it, it was quite a surprise,'' board chairman Lydia Tedone told the Hartford Courant in this story. "It's a great way to honor the legacy of a very special teacher. She believed in the school system. The schools meant something to her.''
Robert Magowan died approximately a year before his sister and also had a sizable estate.